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Volume 2012, Article ID 424965, 18 pages
Review Article

The Visual Effects of Intraocular Colored Filters

Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program, UGA Vision Laboratory, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA

Received 25 June 2012; Accepted 7 August 2012

Academic Editors: H. Noma and M. J. Seiler

Copyright © 2012 Billy R. Hammond Jr. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Modern life is associated with a myriad of visual problems, most notably refractive conditions such as myopia. Human ingenuity has addressed such problems using strategies such as spectacle lenses or surgical correction. There are other visual problems, however, that have been present throughout our evolutionary history and are not as easily solved by simply correcting refractive error. These problems include issues like glare disability and discomfort arising from intraocular scatter, photostress with the associated transient loss in vision that arises from short intense light exposures, or the ability to see objects in the distance through a veil of atmospheric haze. One likely biological solution to these more long-standing problems has been the use of colored intraocular filters. Many species, especially diurnal, incorporate chromophores from numerous sources (e.g., often plant pigments called carotenoids) into ocular tissues to improve visual performance outdoors. This review summarizes information on the utility of such filters focusing on chromatic filtering by humans.